Borderline left ventricle

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The first problem to solve when dealing with the topic 'borderline left ventricle' is to find the appropriate definition. Several parameters have been taken into consideration, either morphometric (diameter of the mitral valve, indexed mitral valve area, left ventricular inflow dimension, left ventricular cross-sectional area, ratio between the apex-to-base left ventricular dimension and right ventricular dimension, left ventricular long axis to heart long axis ratio, left ventricular end diastolic volume, left ventricular mass index, ratio of the right/left ventricular wall thickness, presence of endocardial fibroelastosis, cardiac apex not formed by the left ventricle, diameter of the ventriculo-aortic junction, diameter of the aortic valve annulus and indexed aortic root diameter) as well as functional (left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end diastolic pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, direction of the blood flow in the ascending aorta and at the level of the patent ductus arteriosus). Pre-operative determination whether the left ventricle is adequate to sustain the systemic circulation, or it may became adequate with the available surgical approaches, and therefore a bi-ventricular type of repair is feasible, can be extremely difficult, particularly in the presence of a 'borderline left ventricle'. In the clinical practice pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are faced with the problem of the 'borderline left ventricle' in four different groups of congenital heart defects: (a) aortic valve stenosis, (b) aortic coarctation, with or without hypoplastic aortic arch, (c) hypoplastic left heart complex, (d) right ventricular pressure and/or volume overload. In all the above situations in the presence of a left ventricle smaller than normal a very exhaustive approach has been reviewed in the decision making process, taking in account the literature reports as well as the personal experience. In each patient with 'borderline left ventricle' the elements to be considered for the decision making process between uni- and bi-ventricular type of repair, or for less ideal options of management, are the following: morphometric and functional parameters, hemodynamic data, available surgical options, results of the personal and institutional experience. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Corno, A. F. (2005). Borderline left ventricle. In European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery (Vol. 27, pp. 67–73).

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